‘Reality Awards’ to Air on ABC
Broadcast and cable prime-time reality shows will face off during the first “Reality Awards,” set to air on the ABC Network this fall. Don Mischer, who will produce his eighth “Primetime Emmy Awards” telecast later this month, will executive produce the two-hour “Reality Awards” through his company Don Mischer Productions. An entertainment industry blue-ribbon panel of nearly 200 people will choose nominees, and television viewers will vote to determine final winners using an Internet balloting system. The kudos aim to honor network and cable prime-time reality and alternative series and specials, according to a news release from ABC. “Best Series,” “Most Memorable Moment” and “Best Twist” are among the planned categories. The first “Reality Awards” will cover programming that aired in the 2002-03 season, including the summer of 2003.
EDGE Awards Nominations Begin: The Entertainment Industries Council is accepting submissions for the 2nd Annual Entertainment Depiction of Gun Education (EDGE) Awards, which promote firearm safety and discourage gun violence in movies and on television. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 30, and the awards will be handed out sometime in 2004. Creative productions produced for entertainment or information purposes for public viewing on television and film that had initial public exhibition between Aug. 1, 2002 and July 31, 2003 are eligible.
Edge Awards TV categories are: comedy series episode or storyline for TV; drama series episode or storyline for TV; movie, miniseries or dramatic special for TV; children’s live action or animated series, episode or special for TV; reality series episode or special for TV; talk show series episode for TV; and community service.
The first annual Edge Award was presented Wednesday night by Larry Deutchman of the Entertainment Industries Council to Alan Jacobs, writer/director of the soon-to-be-released film “American Gun,” and to the Coburn family for James Coburn’s performance in the film. The awards were given during the opening night ceremonies for the 1st Annual International Student Film Festival Hollywood, which was held at the Television Academy.
Senate Panel Approves Ownership Cap Rollback: The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday unanimously approved a funding bill that would roll back the Federal Communications Commission cap on national TV ownership to 35 percent of television homes for a year.
Senator Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said he had hoped to amend the measure to include language overturning the FCC decision to relax its newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule. But committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, made clear that he wanted to limit the legislation to rolling back the cap.
By a 400-to-21 margin, the House of Representatives has already approved similar cap rollback legislation. Sen. Stevens said the fact that both measures include cap language ensures that the rollback will survive when House and Senate leaders meet in conference to work out the differences between their funding bills.
FX Renews ‘Nip/Tuck’: Basic cable network FX has renewed “Nip/Tuck,” ordering 15 additional episodes of the freshman drama series.
The second season likely will debut in spring or summer of 2004. So far, the show has been drawing about 3.4 million viewers per episode, according to FX, 2.1 million of them in the adults 18 to 49 demographic.
The first season wraps up Oct. 21. “Nip/Tuck” is produced by Shephard/Robin in association with Warner Bros. Television. Ryan Murphy is creator and executive producer, and Greer Shephard and Mike Robin also executive produce.
PBS Wins Seven News Emmys: Public Broadcasting Service programming earned seven Emmys to lead the list of winners at Wednesday’s 24th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards hosted by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in New York.
CBS News picked up five Emmys, in addition to Lifetime Achievement Emmys presented to “60 Minutes” creator and executive producer Don Hewitt and all past and present correspondents and producers.ABC News, Discovery Channel, “National Geographic Explorer” and NBC News won three Emmys each; CNBC’s “The News With Brian Williams,” HBO, Sundance Channel and The Learning Channel took one each.
For a complete list of winners, go to www.emmyonline.org.
‘Grand Ole Opry Live’ Moves to GAC: Weekly music series “Grand Ole Opry Live” is moving from Country Music Television to the Great American Country (GAC) network beginning Oct. 4, the Grand Ole Opry announced today.
The television broadcast schedule includes 52 weekly telecasts airing on Saturday nights at 8 p.m. (ET) and repeating three times on weekends and twice on Tuesday evenings.
In addition to the weekly cable runs, GAC parent Jones Media Networks will provide the Grand Ole Opry with cross-platform exposure through its other media companies, including Jones Radio Networks.
The new season of “Grand Ole Opry Live” will be produced by High Five Entertainment. The season will kick off with a Patsy Cline Tribute special on Oct. 4 featuring Rebecca Lynn Howard and Lee Ann Womack.
ABC Production Exec Steve Hearns Dies: Steve Hearns, the production executive for ABC Daytime West Coast, died Monday in Los Angeles of an apparent heart attack. He was 45.
“His loss is very deeply felt,” said ABC Daytime spokeswoman Marianne Fleschman, who described Mr. Hearns as “definitely a rare breed in this business: positive, always happy and a remarkable team player.” Mr. Hearns first worked for ABC as an intern at WABC-TV in New York. After graduating from college, he landed a job with the ABC Network’s Unit Manager Department in New York, where he worked with shows ranging from “Ryan’s Hope” and “PrimeTime Live,” as the newsmagazine was titled then, to ABC Sports programming.
In 1994, he signed on with The Baseball Network, a ill-fated partnership that included ABC Sports, NBC Sports and Major League Baseball. In 1996, after that partnership dissolved, Mr. Hearns returned to ABC as a member of the Daytime department. After moving to Burbank, he helped launch “Port Charles,” the soap ABC is canceling in October after more than five years on the air.
In addition to overseeing the day-to-day production of “General Hospital” and “Port Charles,” Mr. Hearns was in charge of the intern programs for the two soaps. He was a member of the Disney University Advisory Board and gave tours of The Prospect Studios and the network’s soap stages as part of giving new employees an overview of the company.
Mr. Hearns is survived by his father, John Hearns of Ambridge, Pa., and sister Cindy Frierson of Cleveland.